Yooka-Laylee - Platforming Resurgence?

Back in the late 90's-Early 00's we had an impressive catalog of platforming titles. From the likes of Rareware, Nintendo, Sony, and plenty of other developing studios; we were given tons of excellent games. This is in part thanks to the newest hardware allowing them to expand the worlds they wanted to create in 3D. This helped make Platformers a bigger force to reckon with which caused every developer to make some type of platformer. No other company was releasing higher quality games like Rareware Studios. With games like Donkey Kong Country on SNES to Banjo-Kazooie and Conker's Bad Fur Day on the Nintendo 64. As time went on though the genre as Platformers started to fade out in favor of FPS and Action games. Flash forward to 2015, after a drought of Platforming games outside of Nintendo consoles, hopes of a Banjo-Kazooie spiritual successor was announced. A Kickstarter began for a title called Yooka-Laylee. Being made by former Rareware employees now known as Playtonic Games. The game was funded in a record thirty-eight minutes! Fast forward to now and the game is finally here and after watching the gameplay videos I'm extremely excited to play this game and relive that Platforming glory of yesteryear. 

The story begins with that sweet Grant Kirkhope music, and your two protagonists, Yooka the Iguana and Laylee the Bat. They have finally found a home where they can relax and do as they please. It turns out the book that Laylee has been using as a coaster is targeted by the two antagonists Capital B and Dr. Quack. The book is actually all-powerful and is able to change the fabric of the universe; and if put into the wrong hands can cause destruction. They built a machine that sucks all the books in the world into their facility as they hope to capture the book they seek most. As it's being pulled away into Hivory Towers the "Pagies" end up escaping the books case and scatter across the six worlds.

Even Shovel Knight makes an appearance!

There's the Hub World, Hivory Towers. Within Hivory Towers are five other worlds to dive into to collect Pagies. quills, ghost writers, and pay to learn moves from your move dealer Trowzer to progress throughout the game. Each world is open, allowing you to tackle challenges in any order you want with the exception of a few that require a move you need to purchase later on. The downside is that there are only five worlds to visit. I feel like they could've added more content. All of the worlds look fantastic though; and even better once you extend them (which is possible by using your pagies.) In each level, you can collect atoms known as Mollycools. Dr. Puzz, who originally worked for Capital B until Dr. Quack stole all of her work and claimed it as his own, uses the Mollycools to help you on your journey. She is able to transform you in each world to give you exclusive abilities to get Pagies and gather information. One of the worst parts about this game is the Rextro Mini-games. You get access to these by collecting an arcade coin in each level and you get a Pagie by beating the Hi-Score. Each one is incredibly annoying and I wish they didn't include these in the game at all. Another issue that hurts the game are the camera angles. They piss me off beyond belief. There have been plenty of times when I have gotten close to a Pagie or completing some type of objective and the camera screws me over and I have to start over.

Yooka-Laylee is a time machine for better or worse. It takes everything that we remember from games like Banjo-Kazooie and modernizes it to bring us to that place we look back at so fondly. Playtonic Games did exactly what we all wanted and made a true spiritual successor to Banjo-Kazooie. Right from the start it feels like you're back in 1997 when you set up your Nintendo 64 and put that cartridge in. It's pure joy, a refreshing title that shines around all the serious AAA titles of today regardless of the issues. Games nowadays have become too serious. Which isn't a bad thing, it's just in my opinion that gaming today has become too over-saturated with FPS and Action games. We need games like Yooka-Laylee to come out and get us away from the realistic tone most games have. We put our money into this when it was in Kickstarter and I'm personally happy with it. Hopefully with all the quips we got in the game about a sequel brings hope that we'll get one!
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